Remember when Americans had to be so careful about appearing to the “the ugly American” abroad?
Well, according to NPR and other sources, that boorish baton has been passed along to the Chinese who now rank as the world’s ugliest tourists. (And I think that maybe the ugly German and ugly Russian tourist held that baton intermittently over the years…)
China now contributes more money to the global tourism industry than any other nation according to the NPR story and last year, Chinese took 109 million trips abroad, a 20% increase over 2014.
The idea of the ugly Chinese tourist is embarrassing to the Chinese government– so much so that it’s launched new rules for Chinese citizens traveling abroad— those that don’t behave properly abroad could face big problems back home, from taking a hit on their credit rating, to inclusion on a black list that could forbid any future trips.
As examples of bad behavior abroad, NPR cites the incident in which feisty airline passengers tossed hot soup in the face of flight attendants on a Bangkok to Beijing flight, as well as the infamous story of a Chinese tourist who carved his initials on a temple in Luxor, Egypt.
“Spitting, shouting and sloppy bathroom etiquette have made the Chinese look like the world’s rudest new tourists, from London to Taipei and beyond,” reports the Economist.
The BBC reports that this video of a Thai woman ranting about hordes of Chinese tourists who don’t know how to stand in line attracted huge interest in China and has been viewed nearly 2 million times.
The Diplomat decries loutish Chinese behavior that includes “a family who had their child empty his bowels in the aisle of an international flight, only to be handily outdone by parents who made their child defecate directly into the seat…”
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reports that ill feelings toward the throngs of mainland Chinese visitors have increased 40% recently.
So what do you think… have the Chinese assumed the role of the world’s worst tourists? Do you have any bouts of boorish behavior to share?
What could ugly Americans teach ugly Chinese about proper behavior abroad? Please leave your comments below.